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Ballot Access News

Indiana Deadline to Files as a Declared Write-in is July 5 (July 1, 2016, 04:40 PM)

Indiana’s deadline for write-in candidates to file for write-in status is July 5. In the past it was in October, but sometime in the last few years, the legislature made it far earlier. Such an early deadline is irrational. One of the chief purposes of allowing write-ins is so that voters retain flexibility if unexpected events occur during the last few months of the election campaign.

The second earliest write-in filing deadline is in Florida, July 12. The print issue of Ballot Access News, July 1, 2016, has all these deadlines.

Four British Parties Request that Next Parliamentary Election Use Proportional Representation (July 1, 2016, 03:57 PM)

Leaders of four British political parties have publicly endorsed using Proportional Representation for the next British House of Commons election. They are the UKIP, Liberal Democratic, Green, and Plaid Cymru Parties. See this story.

Both Pittsburgh Daily Newspapers Carry Story on Pennsylvania Ballot Access Ruling of June 30 (July 1, 2016, 03:50 PM)

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has this story about the order of a U.S. District Court of June 30, setting the statewide petition requirement in Pennsylvania this year at exactly 5,000. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has this story.

New Mexico May Have Nine Parties on Ballot This Year (July 1, 2016, 01:16 PM)

June 30 was the New Mexico deadline for petitions for party status. Two groups submitted petitions on the deadline. Those two petitions haven’t been checked yet. They are American Delta Party (supporting Rocky De La Fuente) and Better America Party (supporting the effort to find a mainstream conservative).

Parties already certified are the six parties that were on in 2014 (Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, and Independent American) and the Party for Socialism & Liberation, which submitted earlier this year.

Austria High Court Says Presidential Election was Flawed and Must be Done Again (July 1, 2016, 09:10 AM)

Austria held a presidential election run-off on May 22. On July 1, the highest court said there were flaws in the election process, and the election must be run again, probably in September or October. See this story, which says this appears to be the first time any election to choose a head of state, or head of government, has been re-done.

Sri Lanka Guardian Analysis of How China Prevents Competition to Ruling Party in Local Elections (July 1, 2016, 08:47 AM)

The Sri Lanka Guardian has this article by Mo Zhixu, on how China is able to squelch opposition to the ruling party, even in local elections. In China, in theory, voters can cast write-in candidates in local elections, and occasionally are able to nominate independent candidates.

The Simple Reason County Distribution Requirements for Statewide Petitions Violate ?One Person One Vote? (July 1, 2016, 12:58 AM)

As noted below, on June 30, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Stengel imposed a county distribution requirement for Pennsylvania statewide minor party and independent candidate petitions. No other state has county distribution requirements for statewide candidate or party petitions, because they violate “one person, one vote.”

The Fifth U.S. House district of Pennsylvania has all or part of 15 counties. Thus, the voters of the 15th district have the power to place a statewide candidate on the ballot, all by themselves. By contrast, the people of Philadelphia, which has enough people to be entitled to two entire U.S. House districts and part of a third, cannot place a statewide candidate on the ballot all by themselves, because to do that takes voters from 10 counties (for some offices).

Thus, Judge Stengel’s order gives more political power to the people of the 5th district, relative to the people of Philadelphia, even though Philadelphia is much more populous. This is a theoretical point but a very significant point. Judge Stengel has undermined the principle that is responsible for the redistricting revolution of the 1960’s, which ended favoritism for sparsely-populated areas in districting.

Better for America Says it will have Qualified in Five States in Next Few Days (June 30, 2016, 11:45 PM)

Better for America says it will be on the ballot in Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, New Jersey, and New Mexico in the next few days (it has already submitted its party petition in New Mexico). The group still hasn’t found a presidential candidate. But the procedures it is using in Alaska, Delaware and New Mexico are party procedures, so no candidate need be named on the petition. Iowa and New Jersey permit substitution for president and vice-president, so the group is using stand-ins. The New Jersey stand-in procedure is unique. A group that uses a stand-in must later do a second petition, but the deadline for the second petition is in September, and the state only requires 800 signatures in any event. See this story.

Party for Socialism & Liberation Qualifies for New Mexico Ballot (June 30, 2016, 10:54 PM)

On June 30, the New Mexico Secretary of State determined that the Party for Socialism & Liberation petition is valid. This will be the first time since 1992 that any party with “socialist” or “socialism” in its name has been on the New Mexico ballot.

Pennsylvania Statewide Requirement for 2016 Will be 5,000 Signatures, with Severe Distribution Requirement for Statewide State Office (June 30, 2016, 04:36 PM)

On June 30, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Stengel issued an order in Constitution Party of Pennsylvania v Cortes, e.d., cv-12-2726. It says that for 2016, statewide petitions in Pennsylvania will need exactly 5,000 signatures. If the petition has candidates for the three statewide state offices that are up this year (Attorney General, Auditor, and Treasurer), they also need at least 250 signatures from each of ten counties. If they do not, the presidential and U.S. Senate candidates named on that petition would be safe, but candidates for the three statewide offices would not be on the ballot.

It is bizarre for Judge Stengel to impose a county distribution requirement this year, because such a requirement does not exist in the statutory law (although it does for primary petitions), and the judge has been informed that there are 16 precedents striking down county distribution requirements, including one in Pennsylvania in 1979.

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